If you've lost one or more teeth, you may have been told that your jawbone or bones could suffer for it. This often comes as a surprise to people, but the reasoning behind it is actually very clear. Read on to discover what it is about losing teeth that can impact your jawbones.
How Teeth Keep Bones Strong
Teeth aren't just there to help you to chew your food and speak clearly. They also provide a service to the bones in your jaw.
Your tooth is a lot longer than it looks from the outside. The root, which is hidden under your gums, plunges all the way down into the jawbone. What this means is that whenever you take a bite, grind your teeth, or chew on something, pressure moves from the top of your tooth down to the bottom, where the energy is transferred into the jawbone itself. You might think this is a bad thing, but it's actually a good thing! This pressure stimulates your jaw bone to build new cells, replacing older ones and keeping your jaw strong and healthy.
Once They're Lost
If a tooth is lost, this entire process comes to a standstill. While the other remaining teeth in your mouth will continue to keep their parts of the jaw strong, you can end up with weak, thinning patches of bone wherever a tooth has been lost. Unfortunately, there's no replacing the tooth, but that doesn't mean that you can't restart the process.
Restoring the Process
Most dental replacements don't address the needs of the jawbone, but there is one that does: dental implants.
Dental implants are able to restart the process of stimulating the jaw because they're just as long as real teeth and go down to the jawbone in the same way. This not only keeps them firmly set in place in your mouth but also ensures that your jawbone will get the stimulation it needs to start growing new bone cells again. Over time, this can restore your jawbone back to where it used to be, ensuring that you don't have any weak spots and are at less of a risk of experiencing a jaw fracture during a traumatic event like a car crash.
The jaw can genuinely suffer if one or more teeth are lost, but it doesn't have to be that way. Simply talk to a dentist about getting dental implants and get back what you've lost.